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Prelinger Archives

View thousands of films from the Prelinger Archives!

Prelinger Archives was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger in New York City. Over the next twenty years, it grew into a collection of over 60,000 "ephemeral" (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. In 2002, the film collection was acquired by the Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Prelinger Archives remains in existence, holding approximately 11,000 digitized and videotape titles (all originally derived from film) and a large collection of home movies, amateur and industrial films acquired since 2002. Its primary collection emphasis has turned toward home movies and amateur films, with approximately 12,000 items held as of Spring 2015. Its goal remains to collect, preserve, and facilitate access to films of historic significance that haven't been collected elsewhere. Included are films produced by and for many hundreds of important US corporations, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, community and interest groups, and educational institutions. Getty Images represents the collection for stock footage sale, and over 6,400 items (representing approximately 4,800 distinct films) are available here.

RIGHTS: Please read the text in the "Rights" box on the left of this page before contacting us with questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Between 2012-2015, we uploaded newer and higher-quality versions of many titles, including one-part files of most films that were previously available only in two or more parts.

STOCK FOOTAGE: Information on licensing stock footage through Getty Images, our exclusive representative, is here.

The Field Guide to Sponsored Films by Rick Prelinger was published by the National Film Preservation Foundation in January 2007. It describes 452 historically or culturally significant motion pictures commissioned by businesses, charities, advocacy groups, and state or local government units between 1897 and 1980. The annotated filmography features repository information for some 350 titles as well as links to works viewable online. Also included are an introductory essay and name and subject indexes. The book is recommended for all interested in the history of advertising, industrial and sponsored films.

A free copy of the 152-page NFPF publication can be viewed and downloaded here.

Click to see a Tag Cloud of the Archive's Prelinger Collection.

Click for more information about the Prelinger Archives.

Information about Prelinger Library, an appropriation-friendly library of printed materials located in San Francisco, is here.

If you have historical home movies of San Francisco or Detroit that might work in future Lost Landscapes urban history screenings, Rick would be delighted to hear from you. He can be reached here.

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Media Type
4
collections
6,933
movies
Year
50
1970
20
1969
27
1968
28
1967
27
1966
55
1965
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Topics & Subjects
1,004
home movies
850
prelinger
232
need keyword
99
Social guidance
68
Newsreels
60
Gender roles
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Collection
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Creator
494
handy (jam) organization
176
unknown
146
coronet instructional films
96
encyclopaedia britannica films
55
universal-international newsreel
49
davis (sid) productions
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Language
19
English
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Prelinger Archives
by Rick Prelinger
movies
eye 6,300
favorite 5
comment 0
"All-Is-Well"  collects ordinary adventures remembered only because they survive in home movies. Against a backdrop of distant news events, kids stampede for Easter eggs; horses run together; families read pulps and shoot craps; cooks fry; tin-can tourists work hard at leisure; people pose, clown and drink, pull back the husks of sweet corn. For them and for us, remaking the ephemeral gesture is both a small pleasure and an act of survival. The home movie segments used in the film...
Topics: home movies, prelinger, archival
Prelinger Archives
by Haile Productions
movies
eye 635
favorite 4
comment 0
"Showing West Virginia and Kentucky flooded by the Ohio River and its tributaries during the great flood of 1937." "Our first obstacle. The Guyandotte crosses Route 60 at Barboursville, W. Va." Huntington, W. Va. "Huntington's business area." Louisville, Kentucky "The flood does not spare the finest homes." Much fascinating footage. Three cars driving down railroad tracks , the only open route south from Louisville. Cincinnati, Ohio -- photography by...
Prelinger Archives
by Town and Country Films
movies
eye 804
favorite 2
comment 0
Some good shots to be logged. Mass calisthenics. Boxing practice
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 2,337
favorite 2
comment 0
Some good shots to be logged. Map showing Pocahontas coal field in southern West Virgina and southwestern Virginia. General shot of Pocahontas, Virginia Shot of two men lifting manhole cover on New York City street (perhaps taken from another film) Shot of lighted signs on Broadway in Manhattan, shot from a high building (perhaps from other film) Miners entering mine, riding on narrow-gauge railroad cars From Wikipedia: Pocahontas coalfield, which is also known as the Flat Top-Pocahontas...
Prelinger Archives
by Class Films
movies
eye 928
favorite 1
comment 1
demonstrates how to use and care for a 16mm projector w/ slapstick style story.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 861
favorite 1
comment 1
Construction of an underground telephone cable between San Francisco and Oakland
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Communications
movies
eye 1,898
favorite 6
comment 3
The ultimate generic industrial, made as a spoof. A film built around script and visual clichホs: shots of highways, farms, unidentifiable manufacturing operations, and super-scientific laboratories. Produced for the Calvin Workshop, approx. 1964-65.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Communications
movies
eye 1,577
favorite 3
comment 0
Outtakes and unused footage from "The 'Your Name Here' Story. PA-0815 / Rolls 9097; 9073; 9074; 9080; 9076; 9072; 9075 (unknown in which order) 04:00:53:17 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick, crying and gulping air. 04:01:17:12 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick crying and gulping air; MS young 1950s brunette housewife wearing an apron begins to smile then pulls back to straight face with hint of pensiveness, anger and disgust; CU 1950s gas station attendant wearing uniform with...
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Communications
movies
eye 2,939
favorite 12
comment 0
Outtakes and unused footage from "The 'Your Name Here' Story. PA-0815 / Rolls 9097; 9073; 9074; 9080; 9076; 9072; 9075 (unknown in which order) 04:00:53:17 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick, crying and gulping air. 04:01:17:12 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick crying and gulping air; MS young 1950s brunette housewife wearing an apron begins to smile then pulls back to straight face with hint of pensiveness, anger and disgust; CU 1950s gas station attendant wearing uniform with...
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Communications
movies
eye 2,430
favorite 11
comment 0
Outtakes and unused footage from "The 'Your Name Here' Story. PA-0815 / Rolls 9097; 9073; 9074; 9080; 9076; 9072; 9075 (unknown in which order) 04:00:53:17 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick, crying and gulping air. 04:01:17:12 CU brunette woman wearing red lipstick crying and gulping air; MS young 1950s brunette housewife wearing an apron begins to smile then pulls back to straight face with hint of pensiveness, anger and disgust; CU 1950s gas station attendant wearing uniform with...
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Company
movies
eye 15,147
favorite 23
comment 10
Spoofy look at the motion-picture production process, made to encourage discussion among filmmakers.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 10 reviews )
Topics: Motion pictures: Production, Animals: Chimpanzees, Communication: Typewriters
Prelinger Archives
by Calvin Company
movies
eye 1,031
favorite 4
comment 1
01:21:22 Scenes of monkey using typewriter VO: "The laws of probability plus chance indicate that if an infinite number of monkeys are given typewriters and allowed to peck away for an infinite time they will eventually produce all the world's great literature." 01:22:11 CU Movie camera lens (old school arriflex) 01:22:15 Nice CU Lenses moving on lens plate 01:24:02 Camera moves around film editing suite. Monkeys make movie.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 721
favorite 2
comment 1
Main title "Quake!" shakes in animation EXCELLENT FOOTAGE OF QUAKE DAMAGE AND DESTRUCTION Map of quake area with arrow pointing out its periphery Various still photos Man approaching seismographic station in cabinet, 2 oil derricks in background, pulling out circular graph paper, inspecting it CU seismograph record LS huge cloud of black smoke emanating from area of oilfields, derricks visible in bkgd Pan over derricks VS damaged and undamaged buildings Tent to temporarily house...
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Premier Film & Recording Studio
movies
eye 1,336
favorite 4
comment 1
[Much of the footage from this film was in another film made for the United Way] 1959 St. Louis; footage of United Way of Greater St. Louis services for elderly, disabled, sick, and impoverished. 09:53:19:11 Young boy with back to camera lying in crib begins to cry; title credits superimposed over shot; nurse room and flips on light and checks up on crying boy in crib. 09:53:49:27 CU old woman eating with a spoon; LS woman using her can gets up from table with box of cereal on it. 09:54:07:29...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Premier Film & Recording Studio
movies
eye 5,643
favorite 10
comment 5
How the United Fund intervenes to help poor residents of St. Louis. With rare footage of low-income residential areas in the late 1950s.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Topics: Social services, St. Louis, Missouri, Cities: U.S.
Prelinger Archives
by Southern California Producing Co,; Scott Sidney; G Austin Gench
movies
eye 341
favorite 1
comment 1
Henry wanted a sport roadster - Betty wanted a sedan. Financially, the prospect suggested their compromising on a pushcart. But Betty had saved a few dollars toward some lovely headlights and, seized by a sudden inspiration, she invested them in an old flivver and rushed into Henry's office with "Henry, we have a car!" Henry and the others rushed out to see the car and then poor Henry had to stand for a lot of kidding. However, it ran - occasionally. Henry brought the crowd home that...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: automobiles
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 1,555
favorite 4
comment 0
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Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 884
favorite 3
comment 1
Includes, among other subjects: Crown Point on Columbia River HIghway, Larch Mtn Lookout station, Mt Hood, Battleship Oregon, Lambert Garden and Flowers, Timberline Lodge, Sanctuary Grotto, Bonnevile Fish Ladder, Horsetail Falls, Multnomah Falls, Long Bell Lumber Company,
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
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eye 173
favorite 1
comment 0
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Prelinger Archives
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eye 190
favorite 1
comment 0
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eye 368
favorite 5
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favorite 1
comment 0
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favorite 0
comment 0
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eye 218
favorite 0
comment 0
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eye 244
favorite 1
comment 1
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favoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
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eye 332
favorite 2
comment 0
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favorite 0
comment 1
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eye 553
favorite 1
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favorite 3
comment 1
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eye 226
favorite 0
comment 1
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eye 222
favorite 3
comment 0
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eye 185
favorite 0
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eye 218
favorite 0
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eye 188
favorite 1
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eye 260
favorite 0
comment 0
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movies
eye 1,470
favorite 0
comment 2
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favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
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eye 1,237
favorite 1
comment 0
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eye 1,324
favorite 0
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eye 1,263
favorite 8
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eye 2,267
favorite 6
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favorite 2
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eye 1,896
favorite 3
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eye 2,203
favorite 8
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eye 2,451
favorite 2
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favorite 1
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favorite 1
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eye 201
favorite 0
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eye 228
favorite 0
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Prelinger Archives
by Fleischer, Henry Charles
movies
eye 2,021
favorite 10
comment 1
Driving POVs, westbound along I-80. Shots to be logged. Includes Holding's Little America sign, daytime. Jackson Hole, Wyoming Henry Charles shooting film camera (exposure changes during shot, would have to be retransferred) Henry's mother Susan standing by camera reel ends with "Intermission" title
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Premier Film and Recording Corporation
movies
eye 1,374
favorite 3
comment 1
11:42:58:07 VS aerials of St. Louis; VS shot from plane on runway and pulling up to the main terminal of airport in St. Louis; VS inside St. Louis airport in 1950s. 11:43:54:20 VS people walking along sidewalk in shopping district; VS St. Louis slums 11:44:13:22 Slow zoom in on girl lying in bed of filthy room, bare bulb hanging down above her, girl with dirty face reaches for glass of water; MS sick girl in bed coughing, filthy face. 11:44:44:01 Very old woman holding large cane sits at table...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Hardcastle Films
movies
eye 2.1M
favorite 51
comment 2
Hard times in 1950s St. Louis and the social services that aimed to alleviate them.
favoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topics: Social issues: 1950s, Social services
Prelinger Archives
by U.S. Air Force, Air Photographic and Charting Service (MATS)
movies
eye 47,033
favorite 15
comment 4
Training film for military projectionists.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Topic: Motion pictures: Projection
Prelinger Archives
by U.S. Air Force, Air Photographic and Charting Service (MATS)
movies
eye 20,088
favorite 14
comment 1
Training film for military projectionists.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Topic: Motion pictures: Projection
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 137,463
favorite 20
comment 4
How a New York City newspaper delivery drivers' strike in 1945 failed to divert readers' interest in their favorite newspapers. Shows the newspapers of the day and huge lines of people outside newspaper offices waiting to purchase updated editions. In Kodachrome.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Topics: Media: Newspapers, Labor: Strikes, New York City
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 925
favorite 2
comment 0
1923 Pathe Newsreel
Prelinger Archives
by Metropolitan Motion Picture Company
movies
eye 1,385
favorite 1
comment 1
Produced for showing to Pontiac automobile dealers. Describes the advertising campaign undertaken by Pontiac to promote the 1935 models in a variety of media: promotional booklets and brochures, newspapers, magazines and radio. A subplot shows a family whose members each express their desire for a new car in unintentionally humorous closeups; the husband and father pleases everyone immensely by purchasing a new one. Although the family looks at it offscreen and shows their pleasure, the new car...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
movies
eye 11,987
favorite 5
comment 1
"The great American boy is hard at work...inventing, creating, building something. The energy that is forever behind both the competitive sports of youth and the desire to build and create new things is the energy that develops industrious, dependable citizens of tomorrow." One of the greatest public relations stunts ever created in this country, the All-American Soap Box Derby combines spectacle, technology, and masculinity. These three themes are well expressed in this film,...
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Mode-Art Pictures
movies
eye 1,187
favorite 5
comment 1
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Mode-Art Pictures
movies
eye 668
favorite 0
comment 1
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by unknown
movies
eye 17,263
favorite 7
comment 2
Footage of the Pittsburgh flood of 1936.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topic: need keyword
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
movies
eye 2,189
favorite 0
comment 1
Great compilation of stock Chevrolet advertising materials for 1952 18:02:30:30:26 Various illustrations of Chevrolet advertisements: “Chevrolet for economical transportation - the only complete low-priced car”; “for economical transportation Chevrolet Quality at Low Cost”; “for economical transportation Chevrolet The Smoothest Chevrolet in History” 18:03:01:25 Zoom out from CU on newspaper headlines and clippings: “Ben Berlin Chevrolet”; “Robot Stops Cars in Test”. VS...
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
movies
eye 1,955
favorite 3
comment 1
20:43:35:23 Great shot of 1950s U.S. Air Force F5-028 army jet plane does 360 degree spin. 20:43:52:19 CU low-angle 1950s baseball player takes swing at ball; his jersey reads Wayne. 20:46:45:03 Yellow Chevrolet truck drives straight toward camera until shot is extreme CU of Chevrolet logo on hood of truck. 20:47:07:15 CU of U.S. Mailbox, hand opens mailbox, removes newspaper, then closes mailbox. 20:47:11:07 CU hand tunes 1950s model Zenith radio. 20:47:52:29 CU various newspapers from 1952:...
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
movies
eye 139,813
favorite 78
comment 16
Ten short theatrical "screen ads" promoting the 1955 Chevrolet models.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 16 reviews )
Topics: Automobiles: Advertising, Advertising: Screen ads
Prelinger Archives
by Whittier Films
movies
eye 1,524
favorite 3
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 133,821
favorite 36
comment 19
A kinescope of the John F Kennedy and Richard M Nixon presidential debate.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 19 reviews )
Topic: need keyword
Prelinger Archives
movies
eye 43,778
favorite 20
comment 5
Part two of a kinescope of the John F Kennedy and Richard M Nixon presidential debate.
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Topic: need keyword
Prelinger Archives
by Campbell Films
movies
eye 17,628
favorite 11
comment 3
Preparation, planning and construction for the Fair, under the imperious direction of Robert Moses.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Topic: World's Fairs: New York, 1964
Prelinger Archives
by WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Ala)
movies
eye 535
favorite 2
comment 1
favoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Ala)
movies
eye 7,982
favorite 3
comment 3
New homes go on display as part of a builders' promotion in outlying neighborhoods of Birmingham, Alabama. Kinescope of a locally aired television program.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Topics: Birmingham, Alabama, Houses and homes: Building, Houses and homes: Sales
Prelinger Archives
by WBRC-TV (Birmingham, Ala)
movies
eye 4,063
favorite 1
comment 2
New homes go on display as part of a builders' promotion in outlying neighborhoods of Birmingham, Alabama. Kinescope of a locally aired television program.
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topics: Birmingham, Alabama, Houses and homes: Building, Houses and homes: Sales
Prelinger Archives
by William Morris
movies
eye 330
favorite 0
comment 0
Silent. American Legionnaires invade New York for its biggest convention. The veterans of '17 are in town from every state. Broadway surrenders to the multitude. And the does Legion have fun!! Dan Doherty succeeds Colmery as Commander. The parade on Fifth Ave is the biggest ever held. Colorful bands from everywhere. 250,000 of the Legion pass in review. New York's millions turn out to cheer the veterans. On and on-- the thousands pass. On-- into the nineteenth hour.
Topic: American Legion